Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

The BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) warns its registrants against using their professional titles when organizing or participating in opposition to COVID-19 public health orders.

The new warning comes when a new movement to create private wellness clinics in BC hit an obstacle Tuesday.

An Ezra Wellness clinic in Kamloops run by nurses who were put on unpaid leave due to their vaccination status was closed by the building’s landlord, a few days after it opened its doors, due to a leasing dispute.

Ezra means help, assist or protect in Hebrew.

The college issued the warning in part as a result of the clinics being opened by unvaccinated nurses, a spokesman said, as well as the wider spread of COVID-19 misinformation from regulated health professionals.

As of Tuesday, the province’s death toll from COVID-19 was 2,186 people.

“There have been numerous media reports in recent days and weeks about the activities of BCCNM registrants participating, organizing or agitating against public health orders in place to deal with COVID-19,” the college said in a statement.

“We want to assure registrants and the public that we are working with our partners in the health care system, including the Ministry of Health, and that we are taking steps to address such reports,” it continued.

The Ministry of Health reported on Monday that more than 3,300 health workers are now on unpaid leave because they were not immunized before the October 26 deadline for mandatory vaccination.

It accounts for 2.6 percent of the health staff in the province. In the Interior Health region, five percent of healthcare professionals are on unpaid leave to refuse to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

It is the region that sees the emergence of the Ezra Wellness movement.

Ezra Wellness

A woman named Svetlana Dalla Lana claims on Facebook to be the founder of Ezra Wellness. She has her profession listed as NURZ and has opened a clinic in Grand Forks.

There are Facebook groups for Ezra Wellness Centers in Castlegar and Vernon, although it is not clear that they have established clinics in these communities.

In Kamloops, the center opened its doors on October 26, but it did not have a business license and limited its activity to chatting with people who came in.

“We do not want our licenses. We are not allowed to call ourselves nurses and we are not allowed to be nurses,” said Glenn Aalderink, who describes himself as the Ezra Kamloops leader.

Glenn Aalderink with Ezra Wellness Kamloops says his group will have to find a new location after the landlord objected to a sublease agreement he had not approved. (Jennifer Norwell / CBC)

“I have accepted it. I have made sure that I am not allowed to call myself a nurse anymore,” said Aalderink, who said he would consider himself a “wellness lawyer and counselor.”

Kamloop’s location closed

On Tuesday, the landlord of the building in North Kamloops, where the group had established himself, shut down the facility and said in a statement that it had entered into a sublease agreement which he had not approved.

“It’s a little discouraging,” Aalderink said. “We’ll have to find a new home.”

Aalderink, along with two members of his group he calls “former nurses,” plans to avoid everything like diagnosing and prescribing medication. He said they would administer “simple, small old-fashioned therapies or relief that are not of a pharmaceutical nature.”

Under the Health Professions Act of BC, the BCCNM may investigate registrants whose conduct may be in violation of the college’s professional and practice standards.

If they are determined to be in conflict, the College Inquiry Committee may order conditions, remedial training, or license suspension or revocation.

In its counsel issued Tuesday, the college lists the professional titles it is responsible for protecting, including Nurse, Registered Nurse, Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Authorized Practical Nurse, Nurse, Midwife and Registered Midwife.

BC Nurses Union declined to comment on either the college’s advisory or Ezra Wellness clinics.

By Victor

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